Bill and Ted have spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they're flunking history. When Ted's dad threatens to send him away to military school, Bill and Ted realize it could mean the most heinous end of The Stallyns! Luckly, a guide from the future, Rufus, has come to them with a most bodacious solution.
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Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Stephen Herek (1989)
Discarded as stoner fluff and left for dead by the non-cult-flick-fanatics, Bill and Ted are not ever to be underestimated. I can't really critique it. I suppose that is why critics don't like it. They can't pick it apart and piss on it with their Derides and Schopenhauer. I've said it before and I'll say it again—whatever.
This film is perfectly put together. Direction: Like Casablanca, it does nothing but point at nothing but the characters and what they're doing. Invisible. This is a talent I think has gone unappreciated a damn long time. I say “Bravo” nameless director, whoever the hell did this totally awesome flick.
Acting: exactly what its after. Where this movie comes out ahead of things like Waynes World is that those really are clueless teenagers, and I'd be willing to bet that that is what they wore to their audition. Wayne and Garth, on the other hand, kinda contrived and overly caricatured.
Plot: a fantastic spin on Candid-like picaresque. Oh! And its got one of those moral thingys. Aren't people always praising those? “Be Excellent to Each Other.” If the world were run by Bill and Ted, like the plot supposes may well happen, it would be a pretty radical place – both literally and how they, themselves, use it. Speaking of which, if you're seriously going to argue that its too 80s kitsch, you need to reconcile with your own poor choices and grow a sense of humor.
Why, I ask you, can people not love things for being perfect incarnations of what they are aiming for?
I love this movie for so many reasons, many of which you have listed above. It's a history nerd's wet dream in terms of absurd treatment of massive historical figures. That combined with the fact that they take nothing serious in the movie(Socrates is dancing to rock music, for fuck's sake!) makes it so much better than like you said, Wayne's World or something like that. Perhaps Dude, Where's My Car matches it for foolishness, but only because it goes for what Bill and Ted did 15 years prior. I never realized what you meant by the camera work until I thought about it, and agree. I think it would be nice if more movies were done as such. Good camera work is good when it plays well. Most of the time, however, it's mostly people imitating Guy Ritchie or someone similar, who actually know what they are doing when moving a camera around in a scene. Some call it poor directing, I call it letting the actors do their fucking job. And for the two dudes in this movie, its being as stoned as possible.
I believe its one of the first stoner movies that didn't try too hard, and was given to rest after a 2nd, less good iteration. Unlike Cheech and Chong, these two knew when to stop and let this film grow into the amazing hit it is. I first saw it in High School and still list it as a favorite when people ask about stoner comedies. Pure fun.